Alex and I spent last weekend exploring Southampton – a place we hadn’t previously visited, but had been given the opportunity by Travelodge. To be honest, I hadn’t used a Travelodge before either, so didn’t really know what to expect.
We drove down to Southampton on a rainy Friday evening, and were very pleased to find ample parking when we arrived after a long, horrible journey. We checked in and were greeted by a lovely receptionist, who couldn’t have been more friendly, welcoming or helpful if he tried.
We then headed up to our room to get ready for the evening. Although the outside of the hotel was not the most aesthetically pleasing building I had ever seen, inside, the hotel was very modern and spotlessly clean. Our room was light, fairly spacious and included a bathroom (with a full size bath), desk area, wardrobe, TV, wifi and tea and coffee facilities. The room had everything we wanted – from the basics of soap and fluffy white towels, to an iron and hair-dryer. The bed was incredibly comfortable, and the pillows were huge! I personally love a large, firm pillow, but if you’re a fan of a softer variety, this might be an issue!
We returned back to reception, where the receptionist kindly booked us a taxi to Ocean Village. The lovely Maddie Bruce had recommended Pitcher & Piano for cocktails, so we headed straight there. We enjoyed delicious cocktails overlooking the marina until darkness fell, before heading a few doors down for a couple more!
On Saturday morning we enjoyed two Breakfast Boxes at the hotel. The Central Southampton Travelodge in which we stayed didn’t have a dining area, so instead offered Breakfast boxes for under £5.00 each, and a small selection of cooked foods 24/7. As there were two Breakfast Box varieties, we decided to order one of each. The Good Morning box included a bottle of orange juice, Nutri-Grain bar, cereal pot and blueberry muffin, whilst the Rise and Shine box included a bottle of orange juice, Eat Natural bar, yoghurt and a large muffin.
We found these incredibly filling and enjoyed having a little picnic in our room whilst we were getting ready.
We then headed into the city to explore West Quays shopping centre. Many bloggers had mentioned this to me, and I can certainly see why – it has every shop (and restaurant) you could ever want!
I made the most of the West Quays shops with my little haul above! I was far too excited about finding these bargain sunglasses in New Look (they were only about £6.00!!) so naturally had to take a quick selfie!
Completely ‘shopped-out’, we then got ready for an afternoon tea at the Grand Cafe Hotel.
We enjoyed a very lovely afternoon tea at The Grand Cafe. I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re nearby – the service was fantastic and the food was incredible. Unfortunately we were defeated by the amount we were served, but they kindly let us take the cakes with us.
After afternoon tea, we sat in the larger dining room where it turned out that the first class passengers of the Titanic had actually dined at the Grand Cafe before boarding the ship.
Travelodge had recommended Dock O’ The Bay as a great restaurant to visit. In all honestly, it didn’t look impressive from the outside, but we decided to visit anyway. I can’t explain just how amazing the food was. Despite the fact we seemed to have eaten our way around Southampton, I’m not a foodie, but really enjoyed our meal here.
As the menu wasn’t overly geared towards vegetarians, I struggled to choose a main course. I ordered a mushroom and spinach lasagne which isn’t usually to my taste, but it was incredible! Flavoursome, beautifully presented and provided with great service.
After eating far too much, we decided to call it a night after Dock O’ The Bay, and we headed back to the hotel. I enjoyed a relaxing bath (with the Lush bath ballistic I had previously purchased by West Quays) and we had a relatively early night.
On Sunday, we followed recommendations from Alice Spake and visited Mettricks, a cafe in Southampton, followed by an exploration of the older part of the city and the Tudor house. Alice had mentioned that she regularly visits Mettricks, so we were intrigued to see why she liked it so much.
A spacious yet quirky cafe, Mettricks served pretty much everything. I enjoyed houmous and avocado on toast, which was delicious, and Alex enjoyed a full English breakfast. They had board games and a large bookshelf for customers to enjoy, which was a unique touch. I wish we had somewhere like this where we live as it would be the perfect place to see friends.
Having spent the majority of the weekend eating, we enjoyed a little tour of the Tudor House in Southampton. I hadn’t previously thought of Southampton as a place with much history, so it was really interesting finding out about its past.
Alex and I had a fantastic weekend visiting Southampton and are now trying to decide which city to visit next. It was lovely to be reminded how many great places we have in the UK and how easy it is to explore them using Travelodge.
I have since found out that there are in fact over 500 Travelodge hotels, which is incredible and makes it really easy to explore new places, knowing there is an affordable yet reliable hotel nearby.
If you’re from Southampton or happen to be visiting, we used West Quay Cars to get around Southampton. The drivers were very friendly, professional and arrived promptly (and you can even track your taxi on your phone).
Have you ever been to Southampton or stayed in a Travelodge before?
*Hotel stay provided as a PR sample